In previous posts, we went over the basics of eligibility and tax implications for selling life insurance to foreign nationals. In this post, we’ll give you a few marketing ideas to help you reach this niche community.
While it may take a little legwork and a few more Q&A sessions to get their policies in place, selling life insurance to foreign nationals often generates larger than average premiums. If you’re still looking for a profitable niche, this one may be worth your time and effort.
Prospecting with Your Book of Business
One of the best places to start looking for prospects is within your own book of business. Your clients may have family members, co-workers, or business partners married to a foreign national, or who have foreign contacts they can refer.
Start with a simple email or letter. Here’s a rough outline of what to say:
- Tell them you’re expanding your services to help foreign nationals get coverage, and ask if they know anyone who fits this description.
- Remind them that foreign national clients need extra help getting coverage because of increased regulations from the U.S. and their country of citizenship.
- If they know anyone who has been looking for coverage but isn’t sure where to turn, ask them to refer that person to you.
- You may also want to add a testimonial here, or mention your experience and how many years you’ve been in the business.
- Specify how you want to be contacted and how much information you need/want about the person being referred.
- Thank them for being a client and tell them what their business means to you.
Of course, not everyone referred to you will be insurable, so you may want to add a disclaimer to your message. This keeps clients from wasting their time, or possibly being offended when someone they refer can’t get coverage (through no fault of yours). It may also be a good idea to list the following in your message:
- Countries whose citizens you are forbidden to sell to because of U.S. government restrictions: Belarus, Burma, Cuba, Gaza Strip (Palestine), Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria (as of August 2017).
- Countries whose government currently forbids citizens to buy life insurance outside their home country: Argentina, the Bahamas, Belgium, the Canary Islands, the Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Saipan, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, St. Barthelemy, St. Kitts & Nevis, Switzerland, Turkey, the U.S. Virgin Islands, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, and Venezuela (as of August 2017).
Prospecting with Local Professionals
You can also partner with other professionals in your area to create a referral program. When foreign national clients come to them for help with visas, wills, real estate, or job searches, they can refer them to you for life insurance coverage. Similarly, when you put a foreign national client’s policy in force, you could give them a handout with a list of your contacts who can help them with their taxes, visas, buying a home, etc.
Here’s a list of professionals who may be valuable contacts for you:
- Translators. Find translators near you through the American Translators Association Directory of Translators & Interpreters. Search by language, location, and more. Translators usually work with written text, not the spoken word. If you need someone to translate a medical record, this is where to turn.
- Interpreters. Find interpreters near you through the American Translators Association Directory of Language Companies. Interpreters are certified to translate spoken words, but not written documents. They can interpret for you during a meeting or conference call, for example.
- Attorneys. Find local attorneys who specialize in immigration and tax law. If you live in a big city, you may also be able to find branches of international law firms.
- CPAs. Local accountants may have international tax experience, previous experience with international firms, or have lived abroad themselves.
- Real estate agents. As we mentioned in a prior post, the U.S. property market is a strong draw for foreign buyers.
- Mortgage lenders & building developers. Not all foreign buyers pay cash. If a foreign national already has her financial paperwork in order for a mortgage application, the life insurance process will be easier. There aren’t many lenders who work with foreign nationals, but the ones who do often partner with building developers (to sell condo units in big cities, for example).
- Tech employers. Some tech, medical, and research companies rely heavily on foreign nationals for their expertise. You may be able to work with their HR departments and become a referable resource for them.
- Colleges and universities. While students aren’t your target market, their parents may be. Look for foreign national student associations that provide support and financial advice.
Broadening the Search
Okay, now you know who to search for…but how do you find them? You can turn to the good old-fashioned phone book, your area’s chamber of commerce, or you can go online. You’d be surprised how easy it is to find practitioners in your area with specific expertise in just one Google search. Here are a few sample search queries you can use:
- International real estate attorneys in [your town name here]
- International tax attorneys in [your town name here]
- Real estate agents for [nationality] buyers
- [Your town name here] CPA for foreign nationals
- Immigration lawyers in [your town name here]
More Marketing Tips
- Consider translating your website. You can get a free head start with Google Translate's website manager. It provides you with code that translates your site into different languages. Just install their code into a widget on your site. The results aren’t spot-on, but they’re a good start. You can then tweak the provided translation to make it more fluid, and save the updated code in your widget.
PRO TIP: Send the Google translation to a native speaker for smoothing out. Find native speakers on Fiverr, Upwork, or at your local college or university.
- Add a currency conversion chart to your website, or link to Oanda.com’s international currency converter.
- Find yourself working with citizens of a particular country? Brush up on their etiquette and customs. Here’s the Entrepreneur.com guide to international business etiquette. The Rutgers University Libraries site also offers country profiles and business etiquette guides.
- Ask foreign national clients how they prefer to communicate. Email will probably be sufficient for most. However, some may prefer chat apps are popular in their native country. Others won't have access to certain apps or tools while in their home country.
- Looking for an assistant? Hire someone who’s a native speaker of a foreign language. They can help translate your website and sales materials.
That’s our roundup of marketing tips for selling life insurance to foreign nationals!
Have you used any of these tips? Do you have any other strategies you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments!